VR: How to Get Started

An intro to virtual reality

Wondering what the VR buzz is all about? Start here to learn the basics.

What is it?

By putting on a headset and headphones, VR allows you to experience realistic three-dimensional environments. Without leaving your house, you can ride a roller coaster, walk alongside dinosaurs, explore the ocean’s depths, race through our solar system, travel inside the human body, watch your favorite team from the sidelines, or play games with your friends.

VR also lets you watch 360-degree videos.

Why is it cool?

It’s cool because it feels real. Seriously.

Does it feel real? Just ask this guy…

How can I try it out?

Unless you have a friend at one of the companies working on PC-powered headset displays, the only way you can experience VR is on your Android phone or Apple iPhone.

We’ve made a list of bestselling VR devices on the market. Try these options, ranging from basic to advanced.

→ Basic

If you want to start simple, check out a cheaper Cardboard-style phone holder kit.

This is a sheet of cardboard that you can fold into a box shape. Insert your smartphone into a compartment and then hold the Cardboard up to your face, or use a head strap (like ski goggles). The kit includes glass lenses that turn the screen on your phone into an immersive 3D display.

These kits work best with Nexus 4/5, Moto X, and Galaxy S4/S5/S6. They also work with HTC One, Moto G, iPhone 5/5c/5s/6 /6s.

Here are our recommendations for Cardboard-style kits:

D-scope Pro Kit
$16.99
(Buy)

Handheld 
Durable construction
Fixed focal length (45mm)
Magnetic button

+

Kollea v2.0 
$13.99
(Buy)

Black color
Fixed focal length (45mm)
Head strap
Magnetic button
Bigger size and lenses


→ Better

Cardboard kits can fall apart after a while, and they aren’t very comfortable. If you want more durability and comfort, try these:

Kollea v3.0
$33.99
(Buy)

4.7" to 6" phone screens
Adjustable focal length and width
Adjustable head straps
Soft padding
Magnetic button
Camera window for AR

Destek with Remote
$44.58 (Buy)

4" to 6" phone screens
Fixed focal length
Adjustable head straps
Breathable foam padding
Bluetooth remote provides controls for Android

Get it without remote ($39.99) for iPhone.


→ Pro Style

For the best experience, go for these advanced goggles.

Samsung Gear VR
$99.99
(Buy)

For Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+
Directional control pad
Breathable padding

Merge VR
$99.00
(Buy)

iPhone and Android phones
Adjustable focal length
Lightweight foam
Dual buttons
Camera window for AR


What apps should I get first?

  1. YouTube
    YouTube now has 360-degree videos. In your app, go to the #360Video channel or search for the hashtag to see the latest immersive videos.
    Get: for
    Android, for iPhone
  2. Vrse
    Vrse is a highly polished app that shows you sweeping landscapes and graphics as you listen to stories.
    Get: for Android, for iPhone
  3. Cardboard
    Cardboard is Google’s introduction to VR. Experience Google Earth, tour Versailles with a local guide, look at your videos and photo spheres.
    Get: for
    Android, for iPhone
  4. Roller Coaster VR
    Everyone should try a roller coaster demo. This is a great way to introduce your friends to VR (and see if the drops scare them).
    Get: for Android, for iPhone
  5. Caaaaardboard!
    Jump off of tall buildings and perform stunts in this hands-free game.
    Get: for Android ($1.99)
  6. WAA! VR
    Become an astronaut and defend yourself by shooting missiles at asteroids incoming from all sides. Simple and fun.
    Get: for Android ($1.15)

For more of the best games and apps, check out our complete lists at Fortty.com:

Top 40 VR apps for Android
Top 40 VR apps for iOS

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